CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

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CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby mr.Lauren » 2018-01-27 04:31

On January 12, I responded to the notification by Apper that 4 or 5 upgrades were waiting to be made. I opened Synaptic and proceeded with the upgrade. When it was almost finished, Synaptic stopped with the following error message:

An error occurred
The following details are provided:

E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.
E: _cache->open() failed, please report.


At the same time, Apper popped up with a message like: "Restart the Computer". HOWEVER, the computer was locked up - it would not respond to Mouse or Keyboard entry.

I finally hit reset, and restarted the computer, but it would not boot. I tried many things, including Debian 8.6 rescue options, live discs, and SystemRescueCD-X86-2.0.0. I finally gave up in dismay, and shut down for the night.

The next morning, I tried booting Debian, and to my shock and amazement, it worked!! So with great expectation, I entered the command "dpkg --configure -a" as SU. It printed 33 lines of text and locked up. I took a picture with my camera (poor focus), and will see if I can add the photo here. --- No, I guess I don't know how to do that. But the first line printed was:
"Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.19-18+deb8u10) ..."
There are also 14 lines that have in them:
"Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/rtl_nic/rtlxxxxxxxxxx" (xxxx indicating various text)

I was doing a lot of photo work, so I didn't touch the problem for a few days, but I still got bit. Four days later, I forgot to close Gimp before I shut down. The computer wouldn't shut down, nor would it reboot. But it re-booted the next morning! Then on 1/19/18, I decided to again run the "dpkg --configure -a" command, and again it locked up as before. It ran 46 lines of text before it quit. I again took a picture with my camera. This time I got it rebooted that same evening. I "visited" the BIOS before I booted, and I wondered if it's possible that affected the outcome.

I'm at a loss what has caused this. Is it an intermittent in my hardware?? Is it a bug in Debian or the upgrade process? Do you have a clue what might be causing this? I now have 29 upgrades waiting to be applied, but I won't be doing ANY if I don't find this problem, or install a different operating system!

Thanks much!
Last edited by mr.Lauren on 2018-02-01 00:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby bigrigdriver » 2018-01-27 05:49

If you have a package upgrade history log (/var/log/apt/history.log, maybe a history.log.gz) of the packages upgraded on Jan. 12, you can use apt-get to downgrade to the previous versions and hopefully fix the problem. The history.log names the package, including version number of the old and upgraded package.
https://askubuntu.com/questions/138284/how-to-down
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby bw123 » 2018-01-27 10:18

mr.Lauren wrote:
"Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/rtl_nic/rtlxxxxxxxxxx" (xxxx indicating various text)


These msgs come from update-intramfs when it thinks you 'might' need a firmware pkg for a device. Usually the process finishes fine, but it does take awhile. You should let it finish. The dpkg --configure command also shouldn't be interrupted, let it finish. Yeah it might take awhile, but the error msg at the end might give you a hint.

Just focus on getting those to finish, if apt is broken that's the main thing right now.

PS DON'T PANIC MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR DATA AND HAVE A LIVE USB HANDY
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby None1975 » 2018-01-27 13:58

I do not trust those GUI for updating, installing etc..for updating and upgrading i always use terminal.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-01-27 15:00

Don't know about Apper, but Synaptic is a frontend to aptitude. IIRC, aptitude does package management a bit different that standard apt (apt-get). On a Stable system, there isn't a need for using any of them.
Just
Code: Select all
apt update
apt upgrade

once a week or when you have time will be enough.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby bw123 » 2018-01-27 17:02

Wheelerof4te wrote:Don't know about Apper, but Synaptic is a frontend to aptitude.


That's a new one on me, are you sure? I do like the terminal better than gui apps. I don't consider aptitude a gui, it shows all terminal output unless you choose not to.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-01-27 17:52

^aptitude is a ncurses-based front-end to apt(-get).
Synaptic is a GUI frontend to aptitude. Nevertheless, on Debian Stable it is easy and quite safe to just use apt(-get) via Terminal.
EDIT: Nevermind the misinformational rambling, Synaptic is a front-end to apt. Too much coffeine today.
Last edited by Wheelerof4te on 2018-01-27 18:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby bw123 » 2018-01-27 17:55

Wheelerof4te wrote:^aptitude is a ncurses-based front-end to apt(-get).
Synaptic is a GUI frontend to aptitude.


If that were true, synaptic would need to have aptitude installed as a dependency wouldn't it?
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-01-27 17:58

Heh, just checked and returned to edit the post.
You are right, no aptitude dependency, so it's a front-end to apt.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Bulkley » 2018-01-27 18:06

None1975 wrote:I do not trust those GUI for updating, installing etc..for updating and upgrading i always use terminal.


+1
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby stevepusser » 2018-01-27 20:10

Try booting a system rescue disk/USB and checking out the health of your hard drive. I'd also look at possible heat related issues. If you have critical data on the disk, make sure you have it backed up.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby mr.Lauren » 2018-02-01 00:26

I'm sorry I'm slow responding! I was busy, and therefore watching email for replies. Then I wondered if email was working, and took a look, and found your many responses! Ooops, I hadn't updated my email profile. Thanks for your comments.

I first ran the "dpkg --configure -a" command again to see if there was any significant difference (there were differences and similarities), and to clear up the question raised by bw123:
These msgs come from update-intramfs when it thinks you 'might' need a firmware pkg for a device. Usually the process finishes fine, but it does take awhile. You should let it finish. The dpkg --configure command also shouldn't be interrupted, let it finish. Yeah it might take awhile, but the error msg at the end might give you a hint.

I let it sit for 3 1/2 hours -- that should be enough, shouldn't it? I copied the text from the portion prior to the 14 lines about "Possible missing firmware" that I may list at the end below.

The first comment was:
bigrigdriver wrote:If you have a package upgrade history log (/var/log/apt/history.log, maybe a history.log.gz) of the packages upgraded on Jan. 12, you can use apt-get to downgrade to the previous versions and hopefully fix the problem. The history.log names the package, including version number of the old and upgraded package.
https://askubuntu.com/questions/138284/how-to-down

Yes, I do have that log. It is:
Start-Date: 2018-01-09 09:08:06
Commandline: synaptic
Upgrade: gimp:amd64 (2.8.14-1+deb8u1, 2.8.14-1+deb8u2), libgimp2.0:amd64 (2.8.14-1+deb8u1, 2.8.14-1+deb8u2), libpoppler-glib8:amd64 (0.26.5-2+deb8u1, 0.26.5-2+deb8u2), libpoppler46:amd64 (0.26.5-2+deb8u1, 0.26.5-2+deb8u2), gimp-data:amd64 (2.8.14-1+deb8u1, 2.8.14-1+deb8u2), libpoppler-qt4-4:amd64 (0.26.5-2+deb8u1, 0.26.5-2+deb8u2), poppler-utils:amd64 (0.26.5-2+deb8u1, 0.26.5-2+deb8u2)
End-Date: 2018-01-09 09:08:36

Start-Date: 2018-01-12 09:57:32
Commandline: synaptic
Install: firmware-linux-free:amd64 (3.3, automatic), linux-image-3.16.0-5-amd64:amd64 (3.16.51-3+deb8u1, automatic), ibnuma1:amd64 (2.0.10-1, automatic), irqbalance:amd64 (1.0.6-3+deb8u1, automatic)
Upgrade: linux-image-amd64:amd64 (3.16+63, 3.16+63+deb8u1)

I'm not knowledgeable about this, so you'll have to tell me if I'm right. In the first place, I suppose only the "2018-01-12" info is applicable to this problem. I included both in case I'm wrong. In the "2018-01-12" group, I also assume both "Install" and "Upgrade" groups are suspect. In these two groups, I assume, for examples, that, in "Install", the first "pkg" is "firmware-linux-free:amd64", the existing version is "3.3", and it should be updated to the newest version as indicated by "automatic". In "Upgrade", I assume the first (and only) "pkg" is "linux-image-amd64:amd64", the existing version is "3.16+63", and it should be upgraded to version "3.16+63+deb8u1".

If those are right, then my commands to downgrade these two packages (I understand I have to do this for all pkgs) would be:
"apt-get install «pkg»=«version»" (or)
In Install is: apt-get install firmware-linux-free:amd64=3.3 (and)
In Upgrade is: apt-get install linux-image-amd64:amd64=3.16+63

If all this works, I still have 3 questions: 1. Does doing these commands automatically clear Synaptics mind of the error, and if not, what do I do?; 2. In your link, one person said: "when i type apt-get install pkg=version apt-get offers removing almost half of all installed packages which of course not what i want to do". Do I need to worry about that?; and, 3. The last line of the Syanptic message is "E: _cache->open() failed, please report." says "please report" --- to whom?

Also, stevepusser » 2018-01-28 01:10 noted:
Try booting a system rescue disk/USB and checking out the health of your hard drive. I'd also look at possible heat related issues. If you have critical data on the disk, make sure you have it backed up.

In my original post I had this comment:
I tried many things, including Debian 8.6 rescue options, live discs, and SystemRescueCD-X86-2.0.0.
Do you have any suggestions for checking out the health of my hard drive?

Finally I will type the output of the "dpkg --configure -a" command that I sort of promised above:
#dpkg --configure -a
Setting up linus-image-3.16.0-5-amd64 (3.16.51-3+deb8u1) ...
Vmlinuz(/boot/vmlinz-3.16.0-5-amd64
) points to /boot/vmlinz-3.16.0-5-amd64
(/boot/vmlinz-3.16.0-amd64)--doing nothing at /var/lib/dpkg/info/liinux-image-3.16.0-5-amd64.postinst line 263.
initrd.img(/boot/initrd.img-3.16.0-5-amd64
) points to /boot/initrd.img-3.16.0-5-amd64
(boot/initrd.img-3,16,0-5-amd64) -- doing nothing at /var/lib/dpkg/info/linux-image-3.16.0-5-amd64.postinst line 263.
/etc/kernel/postinst.d/initramfs-tools:
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.16.0-5-amd64
W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/rtl_nic/rtl8168-3.fw for module r8169
W: etc There were 13 more lines nearly identical to the above when it hung

I suppose I may have made a typo or 2 in that typing!

Thanks to every one for any further suggestions you may have.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby mr.Lauren » 2018-02-01 02:59

Wheelerof4te wrote:Don't know about Apper, but Synaptic is a frontend to aptitude. IIRC, aptitude does package management a bit different that standard apt (apt-get). On a Stable system, there isn't a need for using any of them.
Just
Code: Select all
apt update
apt upgrade

once a week or when you have time will be enough.


I didn't think to ask this when I was answering replies earlier today. Can I use either of these (apt upgrade, or apt update), even though Synaptic is locked up by the error that I was describing in this post?

Thank you.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Thorny » 2018-02-01 09:32

mr.Lauren wrote:I didn't think to ask this when I was answering replies earlier today. Can I use either of these (apt upgrade, or apt update), even though Synaptic is locked up by the error that I was describing in this post?

Just to quickly answer this post. You need to use both, update, updates the list of packages available, then upgrade does what you would think of as "update" . They have long been unfortunate and confusing terms for inexperienced users to understand and just about everyone, even long time users, often refer to updating a system. The important thing to remember is "update" first then "upgrade". In the GUI Synaptic, the first button on the top left is "reload" which does the update. One of the features of the modern command "apt update" is that it tells you when it finds packages to "upgrade".

I hope I haven't confused you with all that.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby bw123 » 2018-02-01 10:18

From looking up the msg "doing nothing at /var/lib/dpkg/info/linux-image-3.16.0-5-amd64.postinst line 263."

It looks like it can happen on any kernel, one thread said to try a --reinstall on the kernel, and one suggested fsck the partition with /boot on it. You could do that from a live cd. I'm not sure it would fix things, it might make them worse.

There were a other hits that might be relevant. If you have another kernel installed, boot from that? Anything you do right now with apt will probably try to configure all the pending pkgs again and update initramfs.

I'm not sure what I would do, if anything, except read and check dmesg for drive errors. It might be a good idea to copy that initrd and vmlinuz to some other media if they are the only ones you have to boot from.
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